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Musical Ethics and IslamThe Art of Playing the Ney$
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Banu Senay

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043024

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043024.001.0001

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Improvisation and Journey

Improvisation and Journey

(p.86) Chapter Four Improvisation and Journey
Musical Ethics and Islam

Banu Şenay

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how ney musicians learn to improvise their own self-generated melodies. Because improvisation (taksim) affords players the greatest freedom to show their wares, it is considered to be the most sublime sonic statement of one’s artistry. Yet there is more in this skilled action than its revelation of the musical or artistic capabilities of the player. Alongside the player’s musical self, the social/moral persona, too, is understood to be expressed in improvisation. According to ney masters, the art of improvising connects to the art of living, sounding out an aural revelation of how one lives their life. This pedagogy presents us with a conception of the creative self that is different to that imagined in some other musical practices, particularly in jazz music.

Keywords:   improvisation, taksim, self-generated melodies, freedom, musical artistry, creative self, jazz music

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